You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Frasier’ and Frog fly high

Huge night for 'Smallville'

Four new shows bowed on the opening Tuesday of the season but it was a pair of returnees — NBC’s “Frasier” and the WB’s “Smallville” — that delivered the night’s jaw-dropping perfs.

The wedding of Niles and Daphne on “Frasier” boosted the comedy to its best ratings in nearly two years, while young-Superman drama “Smallville” opened its second season by soaring to all-time network records and topping all but NBC for its hour in key demos.

Halo effect of “Frasier” boosted the two new laffers on either side of it, “In-Laws” and “Hidden Hills,” to strong sampling numbers. CBS also got a solid tune-in for a special preview of its drama “Presidio Med,” but UPN’s “Haunted” came out of the gate slowly.

For the night, NBC won out in adults 18-49, CBS in total viewers. The WB led among persons 12-34.

ABC’s “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” meanwhile, held up very well in its second week, while leadout “Life With Bonnie” looked strong but not quite as impressive. Net, which won Tuesday in men 18-49 with its best rating since January, should challenge for the night’s 18-49 lead in upcoming weeks, as “According to Jim” rejoins the sked and “Bonnie” moves to 9.

As for the standout returning shows, “Smallville” averaged 8.66 million viewers and delivered the best ratings for any WB series on any night in adults 18-34 (5.2/14) and key male demos. It topped its series preem last fall by 16% and placed first or second in its hour in all key under-50 demos.

Frog’s strong ratings

“Smallville” teamed with the best season preem yet for “Gilmore Girls” (a series-record 3.4/10 in A18-34) to produce the Frog’s highest-rated Tuesday ever in all adult demos.

NBC’s “Frasier” saw its best scores (21.12m, 8.8/22 in A18-49) since October 2000, topping its two closest pursuers combined in key demos.

Leading out of “Frasier” was suburban-couples comedy “Hidden Hills,” which retained a pretty good 84% of its 18-49 lead-in (7.4/18 vs. 8.8/22) and won its half-hour. NBC Studios laffer delivered the net’s highest 18-49 series rating at 9:30 (other than “Frasier”) since January 2001 (“Three Sisters”).

From 8 to 9, NBC received startlingly different results from two segs of Paramount/NBC Studios comedy “In-Laws.” Laffer went from fourth in 18-49 in its regular 8 p.m. slot (3.3/10) to a first-place finish at 8:30 (4.6/12) — a jump of 39%.

The big improvement could have been linked to pre-“Frasier” tune-in, but may also reflect lesser comedy competish at 8:30 than 8. NBC will double-pump “In-Laws” again next week (delaying the season preem of “Just Shoot Me”), and a Peacock insider suggested a timeslot switch between the two laffers could be in the works.

‘JAG’ draws largest aud

Season preem of “JAG” led the way for CBS at 8 with a slot-leading 16.13 million viewers and a second-place 5.4/13 in adults 25-54. Net also saw a solid delivery for 9 p.m.’s “The Guardian,” which scored its best 18-49 rating (3.7/9) since last October.

And at 10, Warner Bros. medical drama “Presidio Med” averaged a second-place 12.79 million viewers and led its hour in women 25-54 (6.9/16). It moved to its regular slot Wednesday.

ABC has to be encouraged by the second-week hold of “8 Simple Rules,” which declined a moderate 18% in 18-49 and led its half-hour (5.0/15). “Life With Bonnie” dipped a bit more (25% to 4.5/12) but was in the hunt for the half-hour’s demo lead, retaining 90% of its “8 Simple Rules” 18-49 lead-in.

A “NYPD Blue” retro spec didn’t do much at 9, but the drama’s 10th season opener led at 10 in both 18-49 (5.3/14) and total viewers (13.17m).

Fox had a listless night, with its “Celebrity Daredevils” spec crashing at 9 (5.45m, 2.5/6 in 18-49) and 8:30 laffer “Grounded for Life” slipping to fourth in 18-49 (3.9/11). At 8, “That ’70s Show” was second (4.6/13).

UPN drama “Haunted,” from Viacom/CBS Prods., averaged 3.14 million viewers and retained just 63% of its “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 18-34 lead-in (1.7/5 vs. 2.7/8).

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content